2024 Best & Brightest Business Major: Sanemi Nair, New York University (Stern)

Sanemi Nair

New York University, Stern School of Business

“Roman Empire and opera enthusiast who hits tennis balls at night.”

Fun fact about yourself: I can name all 124 teams (NBA, NHL, MLB, and NFL) in under 5 minutes.

Hometown: Bridgewater, NJ

High School: Bridgewater Raritan High School

Major: B.S. In Business with Concentrations in Econometrics and Finance

Minor: Mathematics

Favorite Business Course: Debt Instruments and Markets taught by Professor Bruce Tuckman

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

NYU Stern Student Council (Student Body President 2022-2024, Vice President of Operations 2021-2022)

Capital Markets Club (Co-Founder, Co-President 2022-2023, Senior Advisor 2023-2024)

Economics Honors Society (Research Team Member 2020-2021, Director of Research Team 2021-2022)

NYU Stern Honors Research Program

Teaching Assistant (Foundations of Finance, Corporate Finance, Introduction to Marketing, Healthcare Economics)

Beta Gamma Sigma

Dean’s List

Stern Orientation Leader

NYU Stern Program for Undergraduate Research

The Gould Standard Newspaper (2020-2022)

NYU Chorale

Undergraduate Stern Women in Business (Mentor)

Resident Assistant

Where have you interned during your college career?

Intern at Yawye.ai (New York, NY)

Intern at Scotiabank (New York, NY)

Intern at Jane Street (New York, NY)

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be starting Full-Time at Jane Street in New York

Who is your favorite business professor? Professor Toomas Laarits and his section of Foundations of Finance played a significant role in deciding to pursue a career in finance. As someone who knew very little about the markets, he was able to explain so much about finance in both an understandable and intriguing way. His energy that he puts into helping his students inspired me to want to teach down the line. I am additionally very thankful for him inspiring and advising my senior thesis topic on Leveraged ETFs.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I learned is the importance of taking time to get to know the people around you. Whether it be in a class, an internship, or an extracurricular activity, people are at the core of everything you do in business. Getting to know your peers rewards you with lifelong friends and the ability to work more smoothly in a team. At the same time, I learned the importance of surrounding myself with people who consistently challenge me and make me think.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Explore! Business is a multidisciplinary field that works its way into every aspect of our lives. As a result, it’s important to branch out and take classes in subjects that interest you that aren’t explicitly in the business school. This could mean taking classes in biology to better understand the market for healthcare or taking classes in graphic design to better understand digital marketing. Some of my most rewarding experiences have been in the Math and Classics department.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I wish I engaged in more extracurricular activities that were not solely focused around Finance and Econometrics. It was pretty scary early on to branch out into a school that seemed so large. However, when I did decide to branch out later on, auditioning for NYU Chorale, I found it to be an extremely rewarding experience. If I could redo my undergraduate business experience, I would explore other departments a lot more.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? This year, I served as the Senior Advisor for the Capital Markets Club. As a newly-rebranded club, it was critical that we put on engaging and informative meetings early on. For one of the first meetings, I was tasked with teaching for around an hour on Exchange Traded Funds to a room full of first-years and sophomores. I challenged myself to teach the topic in a creative manner, using metaphors of bouquets and flowers to explain the mechanics of how ETFs work. However, the most rewarding part was seeing students engaged by constantly asking many questions during and after the class. It was this moment that cemented my love for mentorship and teaching.

Which classmate do you most admire? My Capital Markets Club Co-Founder and President, Yajas Shah, is someone I admire a lot. His ability to innovate, start new organizations, and be an effective leader is incredible. He has not only an incredible knowledge of finance, but a dedication to helping those younger than him. When leading club meetings and teaching on a variety of topics from hostile takeovers to financial modeling, he is able to answer any question thrown his way from younger undergraduate students. Additionally, whenever I feel I have hit a roadblock with any sort of problem, Yajas consistently challenges me and pushes me to think outside of the box, all while being an incredible friend.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my older brother Sumil Nair. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always looked to him as an example and inspiration for working hard and chasing your dreams. He was always ambitious and talented, but I was most inspired by his dedication for helping other people both through his work as a medical student and non-profit volunteer. Throughout my life, he has always encouraged me to set high goals and never sell myself short. Whenever I need advice or an outside perspective, he provides the best guidance and I am truly thankful for having a best friend and amazing mentor all in one person.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • Teach finance to undergraduate students as a professor
  • Continuing to advance education and advocacy in rural India

What made Sanemi such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?  

“Sanemi is a stand out on many dimensions. As a student, which I witnessed firsthand when she took my section of the senior capstone class, she demonstrated a superior intellect, creative problem-solving, and a deep understanding of the levers that drive business success. As an active member of our community, however, is arguably when she shined brightest.

From her first semester to her last, she demonstrated extraordinary dedication to Stern, and she was an exemplary student leader. Serving in multiple roles, from First-Year Cohort Director to President of Student Council two years running—a first in recent history!— she brought her unique brand of leadership to the school. By seeking feedback from her community and then leading teams to action, she identified important gaps in student satisfaction and supported consensus-driven outcomes. I saw these contributions firsthand, not only through monthly meetings with her and her fellow student leaders, but also in the increased participation in Student Council events and the higher impact of their initiatives.

Remarkably, while she was President of our Student Council in her junior and senior years, she also found the time to serve as President of and Senior Advisor to our Capital Markets Club. In these capacities, she helped raise the club’s profile through innovative marketing and new student programming. Her myriad contributions to Stern during her time here are remarkable, but, in addition, her impact  will be felt for years to come through her successors whom she has spent personal time guiding and mentoring, while also giving them the space to develop their own leadership styles. Sanemi will be missed as a student, but I have no doubt she will be a stand-out Stern alum.”

Robert Whitelaw
Edward C. Johnson 3d Professor of Entrepreneurial Finance and Vice Dean, Undergraduate College


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